Principles of Public Health Practice/Introduction to the subject

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Preserving Health 1803

This section contains the Subject Description, information about the Subject Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) and Assessments for this subject that will help you demonstrate that you can do what is intended. The Subject ILOs have enabling outcomes that support your being capable of undertaking the higher order activities. Each week, you will have topic learning outcomes that further breakdown the learning tasks and intended outcomes. You should be able to track what you are learning each week against the Subject Description, the Subject ILOs, and the Assessments to see how you are doing. We will give you aids for doing this tracking.

PHE2PHP (Principles of Public Health Practice) Subject Description[edit]

Having completed their studies in in this subject, students will know and be able to apply, at an entry-level capacity, the principles of public and primary health care in their social, political and economic contexts. Building on the knowledge of social determinants from past studies (e.g., Public Health Education, Australian Qualifications Framework Level Five, Social Determinants of Health, PHE1SDH), students will be able to use a deeper understanding of behavioural, environmental, sociocultural, political and organisational factors that promote or compromise health. Students will also be able to examine and critically assess the strategies used in public health practice, in the context of public health frameworks, with a particular focus on community-based approaches to health enhancement.

Subject Pragmatics[edit]

You will find the overall Subject Intended Learning Outcomes below with their enabling outcomes. However, on the pages that follow, you will find the weekly topics and the specific learning outcomes for those topics. There are twelve sets of them. They will be associated to both the 'lectorials' and the 'tutorials', as well as your own investigations and your group preparation. These topics and their learning outcomes prepare you for the assessments. You will be asked to demonstrate that you have achieved, to a lesser or greater degree, the Subject ILOs.

The lectorials will practically explore the subject matter that you must master through the use of problematiques or structured complexities. You will need to work with your tutorial group to prepare for the lectorials. In these sessions, your group will be asked to contribute to our overall learning of the material. Additionally, we will be working progressively through the tasks that you will need to undertake and accomplish to be able to complete your formative and summative assessments.

In your tutorials, you will be practicing the various skill-sets and developing the attitudes required to complete your group and performative assessments. We will start you off slowly; but, the momentum will pick up quickly. Soon, you will be surprising yourselves and each other with how well you will be able to examine, assess and basically apply principles of public health practice.

Subject Intended Learning Outcomes (SILOs)[edit]

Intended Learning Outcome 1:[edit]

Accurately describe the various concepts, values and strategies relating to public health practice.

Enabling Outcomes: By the end of the teaching period, you should be able to:

  • Identify key aspects of public health philosophy and principles;
  • Discuss critically the various determinants of health in terms of the environment, society and behaviour;
  • Delineate the different types of interventions with regards to different understandings of public health activity.

Intended Learning Outcome 2:[edit]

Adequately outline the often conflicting roles and interests held by the various stakeholders engaged in or affected by public health activities.

Enabling Outcomes: By the end of the teaching period, you should be able to:

  • Identify and discuss key aspects of the health system as they relate to public health policy;
  • Outline the roles and interests of government, non-government, commercial and non-commercial stakeholders;
  • Articulate the influence of various types of legislation (e.g., various Health, Safety, Sanitation and Food Acts) as they relate to public health, primary health care and health promotion.

Intended Learning Outcome 3[edit]

Critically articulate the applicability of various strategies engaged in by public health practitioners at various levels.

Enabling Outcomes: By the end of the teaching period, you should be able to:

  • Delineate the scope, importance and suitability of surveillance and monitoring strategies;
  • Identify the commonalities and difference relating to health protection and preventative services;
  • Compare and contrast the previous strategies with those relating to health promotion and primary health care.

Intended Learning Outcome 4[edit]

Define the limits of public health practice as a discipline with regards to work with ‘vulnerable’ communities within societies.

Enabling Outcomes: By the end of the teaching period, you should be able to:

  • Recognise the various value systems that historically inform the aspects of public health practice;
  • Suggest reasons why certain ‘vulnerable’ groups might resist health promotion strategies and the potential consequences of this resistance;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how certain principles and practices might either hinder or enable ‘vulnerable’ groups to engage in the determinants of health in a culturally appropriate manner.


Individual Literature Analysis Task[edit]

You will research and turn in an individual literature analysis comparing and contrasting the concepts of Public Health, Primary Health Care and Primary Care, Population Health, and Health Promotion (as defined by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion). Central to your analysis will be a discussion on how these concepts integrate equity and participation of all affected parties in decision-making, implementation and evaluation and resource allocation associated with protecting and promoting health and preventing disease.

This assessment is a 1000-word (not including references) piece and comprises 20% of your overall mark.

Team-based Analysis of a Public Health Issue[edit]

Within a team, you will develop and submit an analysis of a public health issue that (a) satisfactorily accounts for the evidence that there is an issue of concern and highlights both the scope and likely impact of the issue, (b) sufficiently identifies key stakeholders and their roles (noting the potential for conflict and power politics, (c) adequately considers the various types of policies, legislation, regulations or treaties influencing the issue positively or negatively, and (d) accurately outlines the key issues relating to the role of the health system in terms of a public response to the health issue (500-word equivalent from each student). This assessment also comprises 20% of your overall mark.

Individual Oral Presentation (Team Supported)[edit]

Each of you individually (but, with support from your team) will create a recorded oral presentation, with visual support, that will be viewed by fellow students and staff outlining the key issues facing a vulnerable group (each member will be asked to report on a different group) in terms of the public health issue that you investigated within a team. You are to take a strengths-based approach in considering the group and in presenting your findings. You should be especially alert to issues relating to stigma and stigma management (500-word equivalent). This assessment comprises 20% of your overall mark, as well.

Individual Assessment of a Public Health Intervention[edit]

Each of you will analyse the background of, rational for and likely effectiveness and efficiency of a public health intervention in a particular setting (community-based rather than population-based) keeping the larger organisational, sociocultural (including economic), political and environmental contexts in mind. Please ensure that you consider and comment upon appropriate frameworks and guidelines that have been developed by the World Health Organization, regional health organisations (e.g., Pan American Health Organization, PAHO), and state and national health bodies (e.g., governmental and non-governmental) for interventions in such contexts; please do not forget that equity should be a dimension of all of our work (2000-words). This assessment comprises 40% of your overall mark.